Steamboat Springs High School senior Shelby Reed returns a shot hit by Colorado Academy's Jessika Mozia on Friday at The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs. Reed lost the match, 4-6, 4-6.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs High School senior Shelby Reed returns a shot hit by Colorado Academy's Jessika Mozia on Friday at The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs. Reed lost the match, 4-6, 4-6.

Steamboat girls tennis tops Colorado Academy in season opener

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— On Thursday, Steamboat Springs' No. 3 doubles tennis team of Kaitie Breisch and Christi Valicenti had about an hour of court time together.

But, by the end of Steamboat Springs High School's 6-1 win against Colorado Academy on Friday at The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs, the two possibly were the most impressive team on the court.

Breisch and Valicenti looked like seasoned veterans, downing Colorado Academy's Julia Newman and Anna Zumbahlen, 6-1, 6-0, helping a young Steamboat team cruise to an easy victory in the team's first match of the year.

"I think playing together was shocking in the beginning," Breisch said. "But we got to work together really fast. We knew if we worked consistently enough, we'd get the win."

Even Sailors coach John Aragon was impressed with his No. 3 doubles team. Although a lot can be decided in the next six weeks, Aragon said judging by Friday's performance, he may just keep Breisch and Valicenti together.

"I walked down there and watched some of the points they were winning, and they were just solid," Aragon said. "That team was very solid."

Breisch and Valicenti highlighted a day in which a young but deep Sailors team again showed why they will be players in Class 4A.

Steamboat got singles wins from Valerie Lezin at No. 2 singles and Claire Parsons at No. 3 singles.

In addition to Breisch and Valicenti, Steamboat's No. 1 doubles team of Kylee Swiggart and Sara Bearss, and the No. 2 doubles team of Mandy Thielemann and Hayley Richman, cruised in straight sets. The No. 4 doubles team of Ali Diehl and Lauren Siegel won in three sets.

"There are a lot of these kids who worked hard in the offseason," Aragon said. "Here, it's early and a lot can happen, but we got a great group of girls. They're fun to work with."

Steamboat's lone loss came on the day at No. 1 singles, where Shelby Reed fell, 6-4, 6-4, to Jessika Mozia.

Although Reed lost, she was playing with a snowboarding injury that left her barely able to lift her arms above her shoulders.

"I can't lift my arms past a T position so it hurts serving. It hurts any shot really," Reed said. "I think if I can be able to play a full match without it hurting that I could do better and play better."

Although Friday's roster could change with the season still fresh, Aragon said he was pleased with the way Steamboat emphatically opened the 2009 campaign.

"We still have some challenges to go," he said. "But we saw them come together, and they all played really well."

Steamboat continues play at noon today when the team welcomes Evergreen.

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